The first week working in the lab has been very enlightening and I can say that I’ve mostly gotten over my initial first-time-researcher jitters. My mentors have been working very closely with me, helping me learn important processes such as making media and correctly streaking plates. They are also teaching me all of the rules to ensure sterility (and boy are there so many rules!). Honestly, I still have to hold my breathe when I am streaking plates because I am so afraid of contamination. I am sure as time goes on, all of these new processes will become second nature.  My hope is that down the road that I will barely have to think about making sure the lid of the agar jar, upon taking it off the bottle, does not get flipped upside down and exposed to air microbes. Below is a picture of our set up for soil dilution and this was taken right before we streaked the plates with soil microbes. Currently, the plates are incubating at 30 degrees Celsius and we will take a look at them next week to see if they grew correctly. Wish me luck!

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